Ferns forum: Indoor fern?

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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Bonehead
Nov 15, 2017 1:11 PM CST
I would like to bring a sword fern indoor to my bathroom. The light and humidity should all be good, but I am wondering if this plant will thrive or not without being outdoors? I'm not sure if they need a cold spell or not. My initial try (dug up and potted a fairly good sized fern in late spring) resulted in the fern almost immediately dying, even though I was watering it quite often. I have since put it back outside and it is showing signs of rejuvenation, so I will cut it back hard and replant that particular fern back in native soil. I also have deer fern I could experiment with. My objective is to create a native look in the bathroom - ferns, piggyback plant, kinnikinnik, salal. I live in the Pacific Northwest and all these plants are available to me from my back woods (no poaching involved). I know that piggyback is sold as a houseplant, just not sure what other natives would tolerate indoor living.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Nov 16, 2017 3:14 PM CST
Boston Ferns are the hardiest of the indoor fern species. Maidenhair Ferns are beautiful but delicate and fragile. Rabbit foot ferns are unusual looking and do well indoors. Staghorn Ferns are super exotic looking and Birds Nest Ferns also do well indoors.

The key to success may be the available light. Most bathrooms don't have very good light, especially if the window glass is frosted. Ferns don't like direct sun, but they do require lots of bright indirect sunlight. Also, bathroom humidity is overrated unless you run the shower for most of the day!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Nov 16, 2017 4:18 PM CST
I plan to keep the fern next to a large (but yes frosted) window, I think it is 5x5, with north light - so no direct sun except for a short time in the summer. There is also a side window that faces east and is 2x3-ish with clear glass. That window is at the back of an alcove which I will likely use for a plant of some type, so not sure how helpful it might be to the rest of the room.

Hadn't thought of the humidity, and you are very correct that the room is only steamy for a short period each day - I don't take long showers. I also have rather pathetic luck with houseplants, which is one reason I was thinking of using plants native to my area rather than tropicals.

Thank you for your suggestions, I'll do some research on them.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Nov 18, 2017 9:33 AM CST
Deb - Keep your bathroom plants very close to the windows or they will not get enough light.

For the most part, indoor houseplants are tropical in origin because our homes duplicate the tropics with year-round warm temperatures. Plants that are kept indoors are not affected by outdoor conditions no matter where you live.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Greece (Zone 10b)
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Faridat
Nov 19, 2017 1:13 AM CST
I agree with WillC, Boston ferns are the most difficult to thrive indoors. However much one tries, they will never be as good lookin' as when outside and will always be losing leaves, which gets to you as time goes by. Sword ferns are doing better for me, I have them grouped with other plants, to help retaining humidity, also kept on pebble trays and sprayed each day with lukewarm water. When I had ferns in the bathroom, years ago, they were poorly livin', as the light wasn't enough by any means! All of my ferns are now in indirect light, but not "bathroom light", or dapple shade. Let's not discuss the Adiantum, impossible for me to keep alive.
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Nov 19, 2017 10:19 AM CST
Thanks for the info. I'll continue to try sword fern and deer fern, as I have both readily available to me from my back woods.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Kyle
Middle TN (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses Ferns
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quercusnut
Dec 6, 2017 7:31 PM CST
'Kinnikinnik' in your bathroom? Please let me know how that goes. Would love to grow it indoors. I tip my hat to you.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Dec 6, 2017 7:43 PM CST
I likely won't try these until late winter/early spring, but whatever I have readily available will definitely get tried out. I'll update with any success stories.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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